Here’s a testament to durability: my iPhone earphones (1st gen ones with the in-line mic and button) went missing a couple of days ago. I discovered tonight that they had been in the pocket of my jeans, and have in the interim been through a complete warm clothes wash cycle followed by a couple of hours in a hot dryer.
I’m not sure if it can all be put down to Apple quality contrl though. A few months back I followed some advice and detatched the stock Apple buds from the wires and soldered on my preferred Sennheiser in-ear buds. I can’t stand Apple buds.
So if you want clean earphones, just wash them.